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Republicans took governorships from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey.  A Democrat took a congressional seat from Republicans in upstate New York.  Maine voters said "no" to same-sex marriage.  What messages—if any--do so-called "off-year elections" carry about national politics? Also, an Italian judge convicts 23 Americans in a renditions case, and Warren Buffett bets $34 billion on economic recovery. What will it mean for America's railroads? 

Banner image: President Obama campaigns with New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in Newark on November 1.

Making News Italian Judge Convicts 23 Americans in Rendition Case 7 MIN, 48 SEC

In Milan today, an Italian court convicted 22 CIA agents and a US Air Force Colonel of kidnapping a Muslim cleric in 2003 and flying him to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. It's a case of what's called "extraordinary rendition." Sebastian Rotella has covered the lengthy trial in Italy; he's now in Washington for the Los Angeles Times.

Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica (@ProPublica)

Main Topic Local Elections and National Politics 38 MIN, 2 SEC

Most voters in New Jersey and Virginia said Barack Obama's performance was not a factor when they elected Republicans over Democrats to run their states. But the chattering class is still looking for signs of meaning. Will GOP wins make moderate Democrats in Congress think twice about the Obama agenda? Did Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck show conservative muscle in upstate New York or sabotage the Republican Party? What do results from Maine and Washington State reveal about efforts to legalize same-sex marriage?

John Mercurio, The Hotline
Jonah Goldberg, Editor-at-Large, National Review Online
David Sirota, International Business Times (@davidsirota)
Charlie Bass, former Congressman (R-NH)
Nan Hunter, Georgetown University Law Center

Reporter's Notebook Did Buffett Make a Safe Bet on the Future of Railroads? 51 MIN, 56 SEC

Warren Buffett is spending $34 billion on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, in what he calls "an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States." The nation's largest rail transporter of coal and grain, the BNSF is a link for consumer goods from Asia to the ports of Southern California to the rest of the country.  Aaron Gellman, Professor of Management and Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management and the Transportation Center at Northwestern University, says the implications extend far beyond America's railroads.

Aaron Gellman, Professor of Management and Strategy, Northwestern University

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